Experts aim to improve indoor hearing

Sept. 8, 2006 at 9:34 PM
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SALFORD, England, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Engineers at England's University of Salford are assessing indoor acoustics in an effort to develop ways to make life easier for the hearing impaired.

Researchers have reportedly developed an innovative technique to measure the behavior of sound such as music and speech indoors.

Engineers said close monitoring of indoor sound could lead to further development in hearing aids. Experts described the possible impact of this technique at the British Association for the Advancement of Science Festival of Science in Norwich.

Trevor Cox, professor of acoustic engineering at the University of Salford, said computer technology has played a significant role in the examination. Research teams are reportedly developing groundbreaking computer programs that can isolate snippets of sound and analyze its decay -- or fading out.

"The key differences could be in altering the way that building materials absorb or reflect sound by treating them prior to incorporation in a building," Cox said. "There's a long way to go but the potential impact, in terms of improving quality of life for millions of people, is obvious."

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